Philadelphia Phillies' Rob Thomson becomes first Canadian to manage MLB game in home country

TORONTO -- Rob Thomson became the first Canadian to manage a major league game in his home country when he led the Philadelphia Phillies against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.

"It's great to be home," Thomson said before batting practice. "I love coming back here. I love the ballpark, especially when the roof is open. I have a lot of family and friends here. It means a lot."

Among those friends were eight former teammates from the 1984 Canadian Olympic baseball team, for whom the 58-year-old Thomson was catcher.

"I guess they rented out a suite," Thomson said. "I don't know how they got the money. It'll be nice to see them, too."

Thomson is from Sarnia, Ontario, a city on the Michigan border about 200 miles west of Toronto. He was promoted from his role as bench coach to interim manager after Joe Girardi was fired on June 3.

That made Thomson the first Canadian-born manager in the big leagues since Pittsburgh's George Gibson was fired in June 1934.

The Phillies are 24-13 under Thomson after a 4-3 loss in Tuesday's game.

Philadelphia is without J.T. Realmuto, Alec Bohm, Aaron Nola and Kyle Gibson during the two-game series in Toronto due to Canadian restrictions on unvaccinated travelers.